Weather Game – online game designed to investigate probabilities and decision-making

Decision-making is often confounded by uncertainty. To help with this, information can be presented using confidence scores, such as probabilities. Weather data is a good example of information that is usually communicated using probabilities.

The Interaction Lab, School of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University have revived the Weather Game – an online game designed to investigate how probability information regarding the weather can be best presented.

The game involves answering a series of questions related to weather predictions. You will be giving advice to Brad, an ice-cream seller, based on the weather forecast for that week. Brad will make more or less money depending on the advice you give him. The games should take around 5 minutes to complete.

A few years ago, the Met Office released a similar game which attracted 11,000 plays – making it a record-breaking project of this kind.

Early results indicated the following:

  • When faced with straightforward decisions, providing probabilities does not confuse people.
  • For more complex situations, on average people are able to make better decisions using probabilities.
  • People make the best decisions when more detailed information on forecast uncertainty is provided.

For more information about the Weather Game, visit the website here.